First pictures of Apple's new leicaPhone
When Apple’s Steve Jobs claimed the iPhone4’s closest kin is a beautiful old Leica camera it was just a veiled hint of things to come. Barely a day after Jobs made his comment at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference the company hosted an unscheduled session to announce its purchase of Leica Camera AG and a subscription contract with Eastman Kodak.

After communications glitches marred the WWDC Apple were taking no chances and laptops were banned at the latest launch: instead audience members were handed pencils and paper as they entered the hall. While some younger members were seen to struggle with the unfamiliar technology, it didn’t dampen the crowd’s enthusiasm. There were cheers as Jobs took the stage and launched straight into his presentation of the company’s newest product: the leicaPhone, the world’s first mobile phone to use film and interchangeable lenses.

The audience gasped as Jobs quipped, “some of you won’t have seen one of these before,” and produced a roll of Kodachrome 64 35mm film that he slipped it into the leicaPhone’s bottom-loading slot:

“You simply load the film cassette into the bottom of the leicaPhone, and when you’ve used the 36 frames post the cassette in the envelope provided to the Kodak laboratory in Switzerland. A few weeks later you will receive your transparencies by post: no other phone in the world can do this.”

Using the classic Leica M-mount means the leicaPhone will accept all Leitz lenses made since 1954. A range of accessories will be available, including 21mm and 28mm viewfinders. In a nod to the camera company’s heritage, the famous Leica red dot is replaced by a red Apple symbol on the front of the phone.

After demonstrating the leicaPhone by walking amongst the audience taking pictures Jobs returned to the stage and continued his presentation. “This is the first phone to take interchangeable lenses and the first phone to use film: there’s simply nothing else like it. If Cartier-Bresson were alive today I’m sure this would be his phone of choice. The classic Leica form factor makes it perfect for discrete communication on the street.”

Shrugging off criticisms that previous Apple phones had weak coverage, Jobs paraphrased Robert Capa: “If your signal isn’t good enough you’re not close enough to the cell mast.”

Although technically the leicaPhone can use any brand of 35mm film, initially the units will only be sold with a monthly subscription package for Kodak film. Two contracts are available. The D76 package will include a monthly supply of black and white Tri-X; film processing will not be included, but Kodak chemicals will be available at Apple stores. The higher priced K64 colour package includes a supply of process-paid Kodachrome.

Jobs dismissed concerns that tying leicaPhone users to Kodak film was a restriction on consumer choice. “History and our research show that Tri-X and Kodachrome are the film of choice for Leica users. By making these products available again Apple is actually increasing consumer options.” Taking a swipe at Adobe, Jobs continued: “Unlike others, our imaging technology is not tied to proprietary standards. If other manufacturers want to offer users the choice of Kodak or alternative films all they have to do is produce a film-loading cell-phone.”

An Apple spokesman was quick to quash speculation that Apple would soon produce a digital version of the leicaPhone based on the Leica M9. “When Steve compared the iPhone4 to an old Leica camera he meant just that. The images from 35mm film are vastly superior to any current camera-phone digital photos, and by marrying Leica’s analogue heritage with Apple’s digital technology we’re giving consumers the best of both worlds.”

Speaking after the presentation Jobs said: “Apple phones are not merely a mobile phones; in fact, they’re barely that. Rather, they’re a lifestyle choice, and the people who buy our phones want the best branding marketers can dream up. That makes for a natural synergy with other overpriced and out-dated design classics, so the Leica deal was a natural for us.”

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16 Responses to “Apple Buy Leica, Announce Kodak Deal”

  1. […] Apple Buy Leica, Announce Kodak Deal » The Russian Photos Blog Uncategorized first-mobile, leica, leica-camera, leicaphone, new-product, the-leica, […]

  2. […] the article here: Apple Buy Leica, Announce Kodak Deal » The Russian Photos Blog Uncategorized first-mobile, leica, leica-camera, leicaphone, new-product, the-leica, […]

  3. […] Apple launches the Leica – phone duckrabbit posted this on June 9th, 2010 No shit, this is true. […]

  4. duckrabbit duckrabbit says:

    Awesome …

  5. Jeremy admin says:

    I definitely want one: after all I’ve already got the lenses. But they should have called it the iLeica & rebranded Kodachrome as Applechrome.

  6. […] Leica-Apple deal Who knew :>)) Apple Buy Leica, Announce Kodak Deal » The Russian Photos Blog […]

  7. […] Apple Buy Leica, Announce Kodak Deal » The Russian Photos Blog […]

  8. […] Apple Buy Leica, Announce Kodak Deal » The Russian Photos Blog […]

  9. michelle vignes michelle vignes says:

    great idea for a leica user of 40 years like me

  10. michelle vignes michelle vignes says:

    great idea for a leica user of 50 years like me

  11. Stephen B Stephen B says:

    Where is the wind on lever? Looks like a M9 body to me! hee hee.

  12. Sense Sense says:

    It’s a piss take.

  13. […] Apple Buy Leica, Announce Kodak Deal � The Russian Photos Blog. Posted by Chris Strickland Filed in Uncategorized Leave a Comment » […]

  14. 33 33 says:

    yeah, right…..

  15. Martine Franck Martine Franck says:

    Great news to hear that Apple has purchased Leica and that Tri X D76 will now be easily available.
    You can’t make dead men speak and Henri never possessed a cell phone, but this one might well have tempted him and of course D76 was his favorite developer.!
    Thanks for keeping the tradition alive
    Martine Franck/Magnumphotos and President of Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation

  16. César Lima César Lima says:

    Gostaria de mais informação

  17. Lainer Lainer says:

    I’m guessing this is a joke.

  18. Robert Capa Robert Capa says:

    Bad joke ;o))) jajaajajajaja. great Jeremy!!!

  19. F6 4photo F6 4photo says:

    You will notice that the image of the iPhone on the back of the camera is lacking the symbol for the PHONE! Apparently, it was cut off from the left of the phone image and not the right! 😉

  20. Werner Schmalz Werner Schmalz says:

    Is it April Fool’s Day?? I could still supply 41 rolls of Kodachrome (25 & 64).

  21. john brown john brown says:

    Hey Guys, I recently purchased apple iPhone from prepaymania with the below coupon codes

    For Mobile Accessories – ACC10
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    It may be helpful to you if you want to buy any mobile… it will be in cheapest deal

  22. […] Head. Winner: Discount Wedding Videographer. The judges’ verdict: We had high hopes for the LeicaPhone, but sadly like so many Apple announcements this proved to be vapourware. Both Time and PetaPixel […]

  23. Wonderful article! We are linking to this particularly great post on our website. Keep up the good writing.

  24. Homer Homer says:

    I wouldnt like it if Apple bought Leica….. and that would never ever happen!

    coming from an Apple Hater / Leica Lover

  25. […] Mini M? Old stuff but happy reading. Apple Buy Leica, Announce Kodak Deal » The Russian Photos Blog __________________ Pixels dancing to the rhythm of the moment. Ramchand Ramesh […]

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